I am a Gym Rat

Apparently there isn't a good, non-pejorative, word for someone who tries to stay in shape and hits the gym regularly for that reason. So I decided to use this one.

My Gymnastic Bodies Review

Previously I talked about getting back on the exercise horse, and how this lead my to following Gymnastic Bodies as my program. At the end of that post I promised a review of it, and so here it is. I also promised to talk about my nerdy system of tracking it, but this piece ran long so I'll come back to that in a later post.

The short version is this: I bought Fundamentals, since it seemed like the best place to start. It's not great. I don't recommend it. Still, I heard good things about Foundation, so I picked

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Getting Back on the Exercise Horse

When I resolved to start training again, I had a problem: what sort of program should I follow? After a good eight or nine months of not going to the gym I was pretty damn out of shape. When I wrote my previous posts on workout programs I was following the Greyskull Linear Progression program. Linear progression programs are great for beginners because you can safely and quickly increase the amount you lift. As the naming suggests, you can increase it more or less linearly over time.

After a while these gains begin to tail off, and at the time

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Goals for 2017

I don’t really do new years resolutions. They just don’t seem to work for me. I don’t see that there’s anything that special about January 1st. It isn’t even the first day of the year for a reasonable portion of the planet. Expecting to make sudden and positive life changes on that day just seems to silly and destined to fail. Especially given that I’m probably hungover. That said, setting goals for the year ahead does work for me, though I realise it’s a fairly arbitrary distinction.

Previously I’ve set vague goals,

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Getting Back on the Horse(s)

Last year, around August, I fell off two horses, more or less simultaneously. Metaphorical horses, much as I would love to say that failing to straddle two galloping steeds is the reason that I ended up skipping the gym for six months.

One of those horses was training, the other was blogging.

“Ah hah hah, hold on there,” you might say “But you clearly fell of the blogging horse quite some time before that.” Which would be true, mostly. In the run up to August I spent quite some time revamping this site, both in terms of design and technology,

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Some Thoughts on Gamification

If you're playing any sort of a game, the question "Am I winning?" is usually quite easy to answer. "Is my score higher than the other guy?" usually covers it (though if you're playing something like chess it might be a little more complicated than that). If you're playing a computer game the fact that your character is still alive may well be enough to settle this question in your favour.

In life, though, it is a much harder question to answer. It may well be true that, to the healthy mind, it's not something which should ever really matter,

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Further Watching and Reading

This was supposed to go at the end of my last post, but it was running a little long. Basically, here is collection of writings about fitness from around the internet which I've found either useful, thought provoking, or fun.

Warning: the blog post features two pictures of women in bikinis. It's totally relevant in context, be in case that isn't safe for your work: be warned.

Everything You Know About fitness is a Lie

I really have to start here, because I think this is possibly the best article about fitness I've ever read. The internet, by and large,

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Barbell Training Follow Up

So: after writing that giant post about the three main beginners programs I read up on while trying to figure out the best way to get myself into some sort of (non round) shape, I thought I'd switch to a topic on which I can confidently talk with some authority: me.

More specifically, in case you are interested: the program I've ended up putting myself on, the other things which are important and how this all is actually working out for me.

The Program I'm Following

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm currently following the Greyskull LP (Linear

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A (Very) Rough Guide to Beginners' Barbell Training Programs

As I promised in my last post, I'd now like to talk a bit about the different weight lifting programs I ended up researching. I spent a fairly silly amount of time here, so I'm hoping that you find it useful.

I'm going to talk about the three primary beginners lifters programs I read up on, tell you what they actually involve… and also what I think the person behind them is trying to sell you.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on any of this. I am, at best, an amateaur of the sort who tends to read everything

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Do You Even Lift, Bro?

After I arrived in London I decided to take a second stab at Couch to 5k, having abandoned it the first time around. The problem now was finding a time and place. At first I tried running in the evenings around Wandsworth Common, conveniently close to where I was staying. That started to feel more than a little unsafe, however, especially on the evenings I got home safe enough to push me through -twilight- dusk and into full dark. I'm fortunate enough to work very close to Hyde Park, however, so I transplanted my runs here and started taking time

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Running, The First Time

When I decided to drag myself back on to the fitness wagon, it seemed to me that running was the answer. Getting myself to an actual gym clearly wasn't working, but I lived a short walk from a large and beautiful park (oh The Meadows, how I miss you still). I went out and spent what I still consider to be a fair amount of money on a pair of running shoes (Nike+ compatible, obviously). I've had knee issues in the past, which motivated me to err towards the top end of the range, I swear. The presence of the

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